Monalisha Saikia: Why I write?



Looking back, if I was a fairy in my own world of comics and other stories someday, then I was a star in the vast sky or even a firefly roaming in the midst of darkness. My world monalisha1was much bigger than today.


During those days, on one evening somehow I wrote a few lines seeing the ‘glorious scene’ which was lit up by the warm lights of the moon on the banks of river Disang. But I clearly remember that I had concealed it somewhere. Even after that I continued to do so because I thought I was inferior.


Even today, I think I’m yet to fully get over from it.


I feel, if I were not born in the midst of the greenery of tea gardens, if I could not feel the essence of sand or mud on the bank of Disang River during my childhood, maybe, my pen would not have that much of curiosity today. Or even I would have failed to write if I had not gone through the mesmerizing feeling of love when I was growing up to be a youth.


The love for my diary – the pages of which were filled with poems and stories. The excitement to see my printed name on the pages of newspapers or magazines was thrilling and cannot be compared to anything else.


The response of the readers have moulded me into a writer. Today, I feel proud to be accompanied by a friend who is more precious than anybody for me — is my pen, who always stands beside me in the time of misery and do not leave me in the time of celebration as well.


I can even visualize myself in my pen besides creating numerous characters around me. But I know my pen can never hurt anybody.


At the same time when I look to some of the writers who have a global appeal, I feel myself to be the tiniest creature around. I ask myself, did my works ever help the cause of humanity or I’m just busy with my own analysis – glorifying my own pains.


With all these questions, when I look around only to find my own people are suffering from numerous pains. They are struggling for their own identity. Seeing my own people as the victims of brutality of humanity, Pablo Picasso’s those famous lines hit me – ‘I do not seek, I find’. I don’t need to search for stories but I just get those characters.


From very early days in my life, I have stepped forward along with the difficulties and agonies. While, on occasions, I even thought to terminate myself to get rid of all these. Luckily, some people stood beside me as saviour during those tough moments. Or even a few lines written by somebody get back me the strength to walk again.


I realize there are worst sufferers than me.


Some characters or my very own river Disang, Dhansiri or even Kaliyoni appear to my work of creativity with or without my knowledge. I have tried to portray the sufferings of my neighbour through my novel ‘Aandolito Akash’, the way how she has been traumatized to lose her mental status.


Then, I tried to reflect the instability and anger of my young friend through my novel ‘Satyaban Dur Hoi Najaba’. And I find extreme happiness to introduce these alive characters to the world.


And now, it is my responsibility. Though on many occasions I have been troubled by frustrations, I kept quiet and waited for the time to heal the wounds.


Instead of writing to suit any form, I always try that my words can be understood by the mass.


I guess, V S Naipaul has rightly said, “Every serious writer has to be original, he cannot be content to do or to offer a version of what has been done before”. I know, nobody writes new things, the same things are presented on their own way. I too tried the same. May be sometimes I have faltered to do so in the perfect manner.


Being a writer, I have suffered a lot because in our state to earn the livelihood just by writing is almost like next to impossible. Still I do write obeying the instructions of my heart or I would have never understood the language of the birds and trees of even the silence of the vast sky.


Inspite of loving the world and its people, I’m all alone in my journey. I think most of the writers have gone through the same.


And for me, being a mother and a wife I cannot ignore the reality. Being present among them, I continue my journey of writing alone. Despite of all the responsibilities, my heart finds peace in creativity.


Besides, like many, I also want to win the pain of my life. If somebody has picked up a brush and a canvas, pen is my weapon to win it so that I can enrich my life.


And I will continue to do so in the journey of my life.


Monalisha Saikia is a writer and editor of Assamese magazine Gumraag. She has published 10 books, four novels and six short story compilation. She had received the Munin Barkataki award in 2004 for the book “Punor Jonom Loi Tejimolai”. She is also the Executive Director of Assam School of Journalism.